Founded in 1978 as a traditional recycling company, Channeled Resources has evolved into a key supplier of specialty papers and films. Although traditionally a provider of “seconds,” the company has invested heavily in new equipment to diversify its business.
“That was really our bread and butter for 20 years; taking seconds and figuring out how to find value for it,” said Cindy White, president and CEO of Channeled Resources. “All of this material used to go to the landfill before we came along, and it was a nice business where we brought materials in and decided what was good and what was bad. Anything that we can’t sell, either in North America or the overseas markets, is converted into waste to energy (fuel pellets).
“For our customers and our friends in the industry, we help them figure out solutions for the end of life of the products,” added White. “Whether it’s taking the release liner after the label has been applied and finding a market for it, or re-using it or recycling it. Then matrix waste or flexible packaging waste can’t be recycled traditionally, but it can be made into fuel pellets. We feel good about keeping the material out of the landfill.”
When Calvin Frost, the company’s founder, invested in an old 21” silicone coater that, according to White, had been run “maybe five times,” he set the stage for the future of the business. Channeled Resources shipped that coater to Toronto, Canada, forming a partnership with a company that would run the coater while Channeled Resources would resell the products–marking the company’s foray into selling first-quality release liner.
“We slowly grew and grew and began to learn the niche narrow web silicone release liner markets,” said White. “We got the first ETI so we could start making our own labelstock.”
Channeled Resources Group recently bought a new silicone coater and a second ETI label machine, which will enhance the array of products available to consumers. “Our new ETI machine silicone coats and adhesive coats, has a diecutter and a perf station, and a turret at the end to wind the finished rolls,” explained White. “The concept is to make these labels all in one step–as opposed to having multiple steps–which keeps costs down–taking the base paper and the face paper and laminating them together on the machine. This makes finished rolls, and we’re able to be much more competitive.”
“We’re able to make a variety of different sizes of labels to benefit many different customers,” said Sally Sann, supervisor at Channeled Resources. “We can do auto-applied, hand-applied, and we can make larger rolls for the auto-applied jobs. We also have a diecutter to make custom sizes for smaller jobs where we don’t want to do bigger changeovers.”
The new silicone coater is 65” wide and can print inline with silicone. “The new coater gives us a higher production capacity, wider width and faster speeds over what we had previously,” explained Tom Ray, director of coated products. “The drying capabilities on the coater are superior to all of our previous equipment because it has an air floatation system on it, specially designed for our needs. We have the capability to ship some products right off the coater, which is a step-saver for us.”
In August, Channeled Resources will be adding a new slitter-rewinder designed to rewind two-sided silicone at narrow widths. The unit will be positioned at the end of the silicone coater, allowing materials to go off the coater to go right onto the rewinder.
The tour of the Marathon City plant included a look at Channeled Resources’ clean room, where the company does contract converting for food-safe materials. It’s an HACCP-certified food-grade clean room, which prevents contaminants from getting onto the substrates. “The machines are fast–they run 2,000 fpm–and they make beautiful rolls of paper,” stated White.
Channeled Resources boasts several divisions, from labels to contract converting. “We have a Contract Converting division, where we slit and rewind for customers,” said White. “We don’t own the material, we just slit it and ship it out the door. There are a lot of paper mills around (our Wisconsin location) that don’t like to slit narrow widths, so we do the work for them.”
During the event, White also announced that the TLMI Environmental Awards will henceforth be known as the Calvin S. Frost Environmental Awards. “It’s a great honor,” said White. “Forever and ever these awards will be a tribute to him, so it’s really special for us. No matter the changes that we make to grow into more manufacturing, recycling is still going to be a big component of what we do, and what he lives for and breathes for.”